State Of Bass

Location: Southampton / Crediton Est: 2020

Potted History: “I’ve always had an ‘I can do that’ attitude, which comes from an irrational fusion of stupidity, bravado and excessive enthusiasm,” explains label founder, musician, writer and Electronic Sound contributor, Martin James. “I initially started State Of Bass in 2018 as a book publisher, taking the name from my book ‘State Of Bass – Jungle: The Story So Far’.

“In 2020 it became a record label with the simple aim of releasing music by myself and Sean Albiez, whose ambient work as Ghost Electron was our first album in 2021. As a duo working under the name Nostalgia Deathstar, we put out a track a month throughout 2020, culminating in our album ‘Charged Attachment’ in 2021. Nostalgia Deathstar’s music was picked up by a seemingly invisible global synthpop scene and we were subsequently introduced to loads of new artists doing some really interesting work. We decided to release the ‘Generation Blitz’ compilations that drew on this scene. The label has grown from there.”

Mission Statement: “Despite the 80s aesthetic of some of the music we release, State Of Bass is anti-nostalgia. We bring together artists inspired by electronic pop’s golden era of 1979-1984, but take those inspirations into new places. Together, these artists form a scene that is an open space for all genders, sexualities, ethnicities, ages and abilities. We’re proud to have promoted music that fully represents this diversity.”

Key Artists & Releases: “Along with Nostalgia Deathstar and Ghost Elektron, we’ve also issued albums by New York’s Wavewulf and Melbourne’s Sonar 4, who both first put out music on ‘Generation Blitz’. The compilation series has included exclusive contributions from better-known artists like Sink Ya Teeth, Gemma Cullingford, Tim Lefebvre, Cult With No Name and B-Movie, and a range of lesser-known but equally amazing artists like Means Of Production, Lines Of Flight, Denial Waits and Xibling.”

Future Plans: “We have albums scheduled for 2023 by Finland’s Pulse Lab (ABBA meets Propaganda), Anglo-Australian band Mothloop (No Zu meets Working Men’s Club) and synthpunk duo Suck Disco. We’re also planning the next ‘Generation Blitz’ which will be called ‘Contaminated Disco/Mutant Electro’. Other plans include a seven-inch singles club and an ambient sub-label, Stateless Base. Basically, we’ll become the embodiment of David Bowie’s ‘Low’ with one side left-field pop and the other ambient.”

Any Other Business? “Sean and I are also both academics,” says James. “Sean has edited collections about Kraftwerk, Eno and The Velvet Underground. I’ve written about French electronic music, drum ’n’ bass and post-punk. Inevitably the label output is producing data for our research which will be published in the future, starting with a paper about late-stage musicians, invented nostalgia and imagined histories.”

For more, visit stateofbass.bandcamp.com

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